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Welcome! "The Evening Blues" is a casual community diary (published Monday - Friday, 8:00 PM Eastern) where we hang out, share and talk about news, music, photography and other things of interest to the community.  

Just about anything goes, but attacks and pie fights are not welcome here.  This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.  

Everyone who wants to join in peaceful interaction is very welcome here.

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Minnesotan folk-blues artists from the great folk music scare of the 60's, Koerner, Ray & Glover.  Enjoy!

Koerner, Ray & Glover - Dust My Broom

“The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. it is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.”

  -- G.K. Chesterton

News and Opinion

What Excuse Remains for Obama’s Failure to Close GITMO?

Camp_Delta,_Guantanamo_Bay,_CubaThe excuse-making on behalf of President Obama has always found its most extreme form when it came time to explain why he failed to fulfill his oft-stated 2008 election promise to close Guantanamo. As I’ve documented many times, even the promise itself was misleading, as it became quickly apparent that Obama — even in the absence of congressional obstruction — did not intend to “close GITMO” at all but rather to re-locate it, maintaining its defining injustice of indefinite detention.

But the events of the last three days have obliterated the last remaining excuse. In order to secure the release of American POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Obama administration agreed to release from Guantanamo five detainees allegedly affiliated with the Taliban. But as even stalwart Obama defenders such as Jeffery Toobin admit, Obama “clearly broke the law” by releasing those detainees without providing Congress the 30-day notice required by the 2014 defense authorization statute (law professor Jonathan Turley similarly observed that Obama’s lawbreaking here was clear and virtually undebatable).

The only conceivable legal argument to justify this release is if the Obama White House argues that the law does not and cannot bind them. As documented by MSNBC’s Adam Serwer - who acknowledges that “when it comes to the legality of the decision [critics] have a point” – Obama has suggested in the past when issuing signing statements that he does not recognize the validity of congressional restrictions on his power to release Guantanamo detainees because these are decisions assigned by the Constitution solely to the commander-in-chief (sound familiar?). ...

Obama defenders seem to have two choices here: either the president broke the law in releasing these five detainees, or Congress cannot bind the commander-in-chief’s power to transfer detainees when he wants, thus leaving Obama free to make those decisions himself. Which is it?

It looks like Obama's signing statements are going to be the talking point:
White House: Prisoner swap doesn’t mean Obama thinks he’s above the law

The White House on Monday pushed back against criticism that President Barack Obama sidestepped the law by authorizing a prisoner swap of Guantanamo detainees without notifying Congress.

Asked at a press briefing if the president felt he was above the law, White House spokesman Jay Carney replied, “Absolutely not.”

Carney said the White House had repeatedly noted concerns with the requirement to give Congress 30-days notice of any release of Guantanamo detainees, as stipulated in the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill Obama signed last year. ...

Amid growing questions about the deal on Monday, Carney said that Obama didn’t have to notify Congress in advance because he had added a “signing statement” to the law that said the 30-day requirement infringed on the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief.

[... and here's how they're going to handle Senator Obama's opposition to Bush's signing statements, he never said he opposed all signing statements, just Dubya's! - js]

... Carney stressed on Monday that Obama had never taken the position that he opposed all signing statements.

In case you were wondering how long it would take Obama's Gitmo Goon Squad to start torturing hunger-striking detainee Abu Dhiab after Judge Kessler greenlighted force-feeding him again to save his life, well, you could have set your watch by it...
Guantánamo inmate makes new force-feeding complaint after judge's ruling

Restraint_chair_used_for_enteral_feeding_-bA hunger-striking prisoner in Guantánamo Bay whose force-feeding prompted a highly critical ruling from a federal judge accusing the Department of Defense of “intransigence” and of inflicting possibly “unnecessary pain” has complained that he is once again being subjected to harsh treatment amounting to torture.

Abu Wa'el Dhiab said that in the past 10 days he had suffered especially harsh treatment from what he called “the rough team” of guards brought from another military camp to give him enteral feeding. He said the team “takes you very roughly, with torture”. ...

On 16 May, in the first intervention into the Guantánamo hunger strike by a judge, Gladys Kessler of the US district court for the District of Columbia, imposed a temporary halt to Dhiab’s force-feeding. A week later, she allowed the process to recommence, but only because she said the prisoner was at risk of dying as a result of his refusal to eat.

In her order, Kessler said she had faced an “anguishing Hobson’s choice” – she could impose another restraining order on the military that would further prevent enteral feeding at the risk of the prisoner dying, or she could allow force-feeding to start up again “at the possible cost of great pain and suffering”. She added pointedly: “Thanks to the intransigence of the Department of Defense, Mr Dhiab may well suffer unnecessary pain from certain enteral feeding practices and forcible cell extractions.”

Oh looky, Netanyahu wants to be able to get away with torture like Obama does.  Looks like the light from the, "Shining city on a hill," is emanating from the dungeon.
Netanyahu Looks to Gitmo to Justify Force-Feeding of Palestinian Hunger Strikers

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is aggressively pushing a bill that would green-light the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, citing the U.S. military's routine use of this practice against detainees at the Guantánamo Bay offhsore prison.

Netanyahu told the security cabinet on Sunday to move more quickly on discussions of the bill, Haaretz reports.

The Israel National Bioethics Council and Israeli Medical Association are vocally opposing the law, and the IMA vowed on Thursday to prohibit Israeli physicians from participating in force-feeding, which it likened to torture, according to reporting by Israel's Channel 2 News.

In response, Netanyahu declared that he would find doctors willing to carry out the controversial practice and mentioned the U.S.'s routine practice of force-feeding hunger striking Guantánamo Bay inmates.

Force-feeding at Guantánamo Bay has been condemned as torture and a violation of international law by the United Nations human rights office. The painful insertion of tubes and pumping of food, as well as threat of stomach damage and asphyxiation, has been compared to water-boarding.

EFF to Court: There's No Doubt the Government Destroyed NSA Spying Evidence

EFF Urges Judge to Rule Destroyed Evidence Would Show Clients Were Surveilled

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told a federal court today that there was no doubt that the government has destroyed years of evidence of NSA spying – the government itself has admitted to it in recent court filings. In a brief filed today in response to this illegal destruction, EFF is asking that the court make an "adverse inference" that the destroyed evidence would show that plaintiffs communications and records were in fact swept up in the mass NSA spying programs. ...

The current dispute arises from Jewel v. NSA, EFF's 2008 case that challenges the government's mass seizure of three kinds of information: Internet and telephone content, telephone records, and Internet records, all going back to 2001. EFF's brief notes that the government's own declarations make clear that the government has destroyed five years of the content it collected between 2007 and 2012, three years worth of the telephone records it seized between 2006 and 2009, and seven years of the Internet records it seized between 2004 and 2011, when it claims to have ended the Internet records seizures.

"The court has issued a number of preservation orders over the years, but the government decided – without consent from the judge or even informing EFF – that those orders simply don't apply," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Regular civil litigants would face severe sanctions if they so obviously destroyed relevant evidence. But we are asking for a modest remedy: a ruling that we can assume the destroyed records would show that our plaintiffs were in fact surveilled by the government."

The government's reinterpretation of EFF's lawsuits and the preservation orders came to light in March, when government lawyers revealed secret court filings from 2007. In these filings, the government unilaterally claimed that EFF's lawsuits only concerned the original Bush-era spying program, which was done purely on claims of executive power. Without court approval, much less telling EFF, the government then decided that it did not need even to preserve evidence of the same mass spying done pursuant to FISA court orders, which were obtained in 2004 for Internet records, 2006 for telephone records, and 2007 for mass content collection from fiber optic cables.

Daniel Ellsberg: New Group to Clear a Path for More Whistleblowers

A new organization for whistleblowing will launch on Wednesday morning when the website goes live and the group begins its first day with a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington.

NSA whistleblowers William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe will speak at the news conference along with EPA whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, a member of the ExposeFacts editorial board.

ExposeFacts “aims to shed light on concealed activities that are relevant to human rights, corporate malfeasance, the environment, civil liberties and war,” the group says — and its website will feature a whistleblower submission system known as “SecureDrop.”

Germany opens inquiry into claims NSA tapped Angela Merkel's phone

Prosecutor announces inquiry but says he will not investigate claims of wider US surveillance against German citizens

Germany's federal prosecutor has opened an investigation over alleged snooping by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

"I informed parliament's legal affairs committee that I have started a preliminary investigation over tapping of a mobile phone of the chancellor," Harald Range said.

The long-anticipated inquiry, which follows allegations last year that US spies had eavesdropped on the German chancellor's mobile in the past, is against unnamed persons, Range said after addressing the committee.

However, he said he had decided against opening an investigation into claims of wider NSA surveillance against German citizens.

The move may again strain Berlin's ties with Washington, which both countries' leaders have been at pains to restore following the reports of sweeping NSA spying on internet and phone communications overseas, described by Merkel as "grave".

China state media calls for 'severe punishment' for Google, Apple, U.S. tech firms

Chinese state media lashed out at Google Inc, Apple Inc and other U.S. technology companies on Wednesday, calling on Beijing "to punish severely the pawns" of the U.S. government for monitoring China and stealing secrets.

U.S. companies such as Yahoo Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc threaten the cyber-security of China and its Internet users, said the People's Daily on its microblog, in comments echoed on the front page of the English-language China Daily.

It is not clear what sparked this latest round of vitriol, nor what information the U.S. firms are alleged to have stolen. But Chinese media have repeatedly attacked American tech companies for aiding the U.S. government's cyber espionage since U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying programs including PRISM.

Under PRISM, the NSA seized data from companies such as Google and Apple, according to revelations made by Snowden a year ago.

Chinese state-owned firms have since begun dispensing with the services of U.S. companies such as IBM Corp, Oracle Corp and Cisco in favor of domestic technology. As a result, Snowden's revelations may cost U.S. companies billions of dollars, analysts say.

"U.S. companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. are all coordinating with the PRISM program to monitor China," the People's Daily said on its official microblog.

John Oliver's cheeky net neutrality plea crashes FCC website

The US Federal Communications Commission website reported technical difficulties because of heavy traffic this week hours after comedian John Oliver called on viewers to share their thoughts with the agency about what he called “cable company fuckery”.

On Sunday’s episode of the HBO show Last Week Tonight, Oliver encouraged viewers to take advantage of the 120-day open commenting period on the FCC’s Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet proposal and tell the government what they thought of the plan.

“Good evening, monsters,” Oliver said, before urging online commenters to submit their comments to the agency's site.

Air attack on pro-Russian separatists in Luhansk kills 8, stuns residents

Eight people were killed, five women and three men, according to the self-declared Luhansk People's Republic; the authorities in Kiev reported the same tally.

But there the agreement ends.

The pro-Russian leadership in the city immediately accused the Ukrainian air force of carrying out the attack. A fighter jet had been flying overhead at the time, and social media video appeared to show it firing cannon or rockets. The authorities in Kiev denied its planes had been involved. ...

But a CNN investigation in Luhansk has found clear evidence that whatever detonations hit the building and the adjoining park came from the air. The tops of trees were splintered, and a series of small craters -- about a dozen -- had been blasted in a straight line, starting in the park and reaching the walls of the building, blowing out many of its windows and spraying the area with jagged shrapnel. That's what appears to have killed most of the victims and injured 20 more.

The pattern of the craters clearly indicated some sort of strafing, according to a munitions expert at the scene with CNN. Their size suggested 30-millimeter ordnance, he said, which is standard equipment on the Su-25, a ground attack fighter, and the Su-27 -- both combat aircraft operated by Ukraine.

The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe came to a similar conclusion, releasing a statement late Tuesday that said: "Based on the SMM's limited observation, these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft."

OSCE confirms fatal attack on Lugansk admin building was air raid

More heavy fighting between rebels, government forces in eastern Ukraine

Heavy fighting has again been reported in eastern Ukraine, as government troops seek to retake the rebel-held city of Slovyansk. Casualties have been reported on both sides.

 Tuesday's clashes came as part of an offensive by Ukrainian government troops aimed at dislodging pro-Russia separatists from the eastern Ukraine city of Slovyansk.

Vladyslav Selznyov, a Ukrainian military spokesman, told the Reuters news agency late on Tuesday that two soldiers had been killed and 42 others wounded since the latest offensive had begun around 12 hours earlier.

He put the number of casualties on the rebel side at around 300. None of these figures could be immediately verified. ...

 The news agency Interfax, meanwhile, quoted the leader of the pro-Russia separatists in Slovyansk as saying that his forces had shot down a Ukrainian jet and helicopter gunship. This was denied by the Selzynov, the Ukrainian military spokesman.

"Information that Ukrainian planes and helicopters have been shot down is not true," he said. "Yesterday one of the helicopters received holes from small-arms fire," he added.

This too could not be independently confirmed.

US praises 'restraint' of Kiev forces while they shell E. Ukraine with missiles

Obama says Ukraine can thrive with the world's backing

Ukraine can become a vibrant, thriving democracy if the world community stands behind it, the US president, Barack Obama, said as he met the country's new leader.

He pledged that the US would provide new support as Ukraine's fragile government seeks a path out of crisis.

"The Ukrainian people made a wise selection in someone to lead them though this period," Obama said, after meeting the president-elect, Petro Poroshenko.

The US announced it would send Kiev an additional $5m (£3m) in equipment, as Ukraine's military continues to suffer casualties in its confrontation with pro-Russia insurgents, especially in the country's east.

More significant than the amount was the nature of the new aid. The White House said that for the first time the batch would include body armour and night vision goggles – tools that could directly help Ukraine's troops as it battles separatists. Until now, the US has only provided non-lethal forms of aid, such as clothes, food and radios.

Obama, in his first private meeting with Poroshenko, praised the billionaire confectionery maker for reaching out to Ukraine's restive east. He said Poroshenko's election indicated Ukrainians had rejected violence and corruption in favour of democracy.

Fighting rages in eastern Ukraine town, residents flee

Ukrainian government forces battled separatists with artillery and automatic weapons on Wednesday as fighting raged for a second straight day in and around the eastern town of Slaviansk, forcing many frightened residents to flee. ...

At an army checkpoint on the edge of the town, the crash of heavy artillery shelling could be heard and a plume of black smoke rose above the outskirts. Sustained bursts of automatic gunfire rattled out from leafy areas in nearby fields.

Fleeing the fighting, families came through the barbed wire checkpoint in small groups, taking with them only as much as they could carry.

"It's a mess," Marina, a young woman, sobbed as she clutched her husband's arm. "It's war."

Balancing his four-year-old daughter on his hip, Andrei Bander, 37, said he feared he would not be back any day soon.

"We took only what was most necessary. We are going. We don't even know where. We will head to Russia though because it's clear we need to leave Ukraine. I don't see anything good left here," he said, waiting for a taxi in the no man's land beyond the check point with only a few small bags.

"In the past few days, from 5.30 in the morning until about 1 p.m., we have been sitting in the basement. We didn't have time to have lunch or wash or anything."

Diplomacy Now? With F-16 backdrop Obama pledges $1bn for military build-up, drills in Eastern Europe

Obama takes fight over Ukraine to a Europe that may not care

If you want to know what the real western European view is of the Ukraine crisis, instead of looking for reaction to President Barack Obama’s strong words Tuesday in Warsaw, look at the recent elections that put anti-European Union nationalists into the EU Parliament.

Or look at European defense budgets that for decades have been acknowledged as inadequate to deal with any serious new threat. Experts point out that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and its shadow invasion of Ukraine’s industrial east haven’t resulted in those budgets being bumped up. ...

“As much as Russia’s renewed aggression has concerned Europeans _ and it’s easy to argue that it should concern them far more than it should concern Americans, both because of proximity and economic ties _ it’s clear Europeans don’t see this as an existential threat,” said Stephen Long, an international security expert at the University of Richmond. “They’re not going to carry any more of what would be their fair share.”

In fact, the signs are to the contrary. While many who study Europe acknowledge that European Parliament elections are not a good reflection of much of what goes on in member nations, results such as those late last month do reflect a deep dissatisfaction with extra-national politics.

So-called Euro-skeptics from France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom were all elected _ some from the far left, others from the far right.

While they won’t come close to controlling the European Parliament, their elections send a strong message that many Europeans are tired of taking responsibility or orders from the world outside their borders.

Obama's Solution for Europe? More Guns and US Fracked Gas

While visiting Poland on Tuesday, President Barack Obama promoted a classically American solution for the tension that Ukrainian upheaval has brought to Europe's eastern border: more guns and more gas.

During a joint press conference with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, Obama announced a $1 billion initiative to bolster U.S. troops in central and eastern Europe in an attempt to stem further Russian "provocations," despite recent moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin tp withdraw Russian troops from its border with Ukraine. ...

Obama also took the opportunity to push expanded U.S. natural gas development and exports—invoking the term "energy security"—by promoting increased European imports by way of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

"It’s going to be critical for Ukraine to embark on effective efforts to reform its energy sector and diversify its supply of natural gas," Obama said while meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. "For our part, the United States has already approved licenses for natural gas exports, which will increase global supplies and thereby benefit partners here in Europe."

"One of the benefits of a strong trade agreement is it is much easier for me to approve natural gas exports to countries with which we already have a free trade agreement," Obama continued, indicating that the crisis in Ukraine should incentivize European leaders to sign the contentious trade agreement.

Libyan renegade general Khalifa Haftar escapes suicide bombing

A renegade general, whose repeated deadly assaults on jihadists in Libya's second city, Benghazi, have been met with threats of reprisal, has escaped a suicide bombing, one of his commanders said.

But three loyalists of former general and longtime US exile Khalifa Haftar were killed in the attack on a villa outside the city, the commander told AFP.

Benghazi was the cradle of the Nato-backed revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but has become a stronghold of jihadists accused by Washington of involvement in a deadly assault on the US consulate in 2012.

"A suicide bomber in a vehicle packed with explosives attacked a villa where we had gathered," said General Sagr al-Jerushi, who heads the air division Haftar has deployed in his attacks.

"Three of our soldiers were killed," Jerushi said, adding that he had been "lightly wounded".

It is the first attack against Haftar since he launched his offensive, dubbed "Operation Dignity", on 16 May aimed at eradicating "terrorists" in Benghazi.

Brazilian Workers Strike and Protest Runup to World Cup

Erdogan to grow more powerful as president, Turkey more polarized

On the first anniversary of nationwide protests that shook Prime Minster Tayyip Erdogan's rule, barely a thousand anti-government demonstrators marched in Istanbul on Saturday. ...

Residents in some areas hung out of windows banging pots and pans - a traditional sign of protest - as demonstrators chanting for Erdogan to resign were chased by riot police on Saturday, but much of the energy has gone from a protest movement which, a year ago, sustained week after week of street demonstrations.

Erdogan has variously dismissed the protesters as vandals, terrorists and anarchists and his party's strong showing in the March polls has reinforced the sense that his rise, despite polarizing the country ever further, is unstoppable.

His rhetoric plays on a schism in Turkish society between a western-facing, largely secular segment of the population suspicious of his conservative Islamic ideals and a pious, working-class mass who see him as a hero for returning religious values to public life and driving a decade of growth.

It is a strategy, his opponents say, which sees him deliberately appeal to only the half of the population while ignoring the rest.

Jailed Greek far-right leader appears in parliament, hurls abuse

The leader of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party made a brief appearance in parliament on Wednesday for the first time since he was jailed eight months ago, hurling abuse at lawmakers before they voted to strip him of immunity from prosecution.

In a rowdy session before the vote, which allows another round of criminal charges to be pressed against him and two other lawmakers, Nikos Mihaloliakos accused the government of a politically-motivated conspiracy to rob his party of votes. ...

Outside parliament, hundreds of Golden Dawn supporters dressed in black waved Greek flags, sang the party's anthem and chanted "Scum! Traitors!" at politicians inside.

The party, which denies it is neo-Nazi but has been linked to attacks against immigrants, has been emboldened by May 25 elections for the European Parliament, when it won nearly 10 percent of the vote to cement its place as Greece's third most popular party.

Mihaloliakos, who has given the Nazi salute in public and denies the Holocaust, was arrested with dozens more senior party officials last September and detained pending trial after the stabbing of an anti-racism rapper by a Golden Dawn supporter.

Their public arrests were the most significant mass round-up of lawmakers since a military coup in 1967. All deny the charges of setting up and belonging to a criminal group and say the crackdown is a political witch-hunt on questionable evidence.

In Sign of 'New Economy' Rising, Vermont Bill Champions Worker-Owned Co-ops

Worker-owned co-ops got a boost on Monday when Independent Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled an initiative in Vermont that champions what many call "the new economy."

“At a time when corporate America is outsourcing millions of decent-paying jobs overseas and with the economy continuing to struggle to create jobs that pay a livable wage, we need to expand economic models that help the middle-class," Sanders said during a press conference in Burlington. "I strongly believe that employee ownership is one of those models.”

The senator appeared with leaders of a number of local employee-owned businesses to announce two new bills, cosponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), that help expand the cooperative ownership model.

Under one bill, the U.S. Department of Labor would provide funding to states to establish and expand employee ownership centers that provide training and technical support for programs promoting worker ownership and participation, much like the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, which the bill was modeled after.

The second bill would create a U.S. Employee Ownership Bank to provide loans to help workers purchase businesses through an employee stock ownership plan or a worker-owned cooperative.

5 Years After Dr. George Tiller’s Murder, A Doctor Braves Threats to Continue Abortions in Wichita

Daily Kos Quote of the Week

Ever see something in a diary or a comment post at the GOS that makes you say, "Wow?" This one did it for me this week:

"And considering how sexist MLK and Gandhi were, I'm gonna go with they aren't good examples to use on how to get men to give a shit about women's pain."

The Evening Greens

From the Department of Devils and Details:

Obama plan to reduce carbon pollution could see states increase emissions

Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants places widely different burdens on the states, and in some cases allows states to increase – not reduce – emissions, according to early analyses of the new rules.

The new rules would require only modest effort from heavy coal states such as Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky while requiring big cuts from Texas, Louisiana, and New York, according to an analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance research company.

The Bloomberg analysis also found the plan would allow for slight emissions rises in some states.

“The bottom line is pretty clear. There are some major differences between what states are being asked to do in terms of being asked to reduce their total CO2 emissions on a volume basis,” said Ethan Zindler, head of policy analysis for BNEF. ...

But the differences between the expectations for states under the rules – and the extreme complexity of the plan – have exposed the EPA to charges of picking winners and losers. ...

Some of the apparent winners under the proposed EPA regulations are also some of the most coal-heavy states such as West Virginia and Kentucky. Kentucky is allowed a modest rise of 4% in emissions by 2030, according to the Bloomberg analysis.

Obama's EPA Plan vs. Climate Catastrophe: 'Fighting a Wildfire with a Garden Hose'

Not to throw a wet blanket on the news, however, there's a serious catch that more critical environmentalists and organizations are taking the time to point out. Despite welcoming the move as "step in the right direction," these voices—taken collectively—are saying it's important that people recognize this essential fact: Given the scale of the climate emergency and the level of aggressive action needed, the Obama plan is just simply not enough. Not by a long shot.

Groups like, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Food & Water Watch, and Greenpeace USA are among those rising to challenge the emerging mainstream narrative that the new standards are somehow the best that could be hoped for or achieved.

“This is like fighting a wildfire with a garden hose — we’re glad the president has finally turned the water on, but it’s just not enough to get the job done,” said Kevin Bundy of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. ...

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, called Obama's new rules "the most significant step by any American president to combat climate disruption." Though a clear step forward, he added, "this rule simply doesn’t go far enough to put us on the right path. The science on climate change has become clearer and more dire, requiring more aggressive action from the president."

Days Before Obama Announced CO2 Rule, Exxon Awarded Gulf of Mexico Oil Leases

On Friday May 30, just a few days before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced details of its carbon rule proposal, the Obama Administration awarded offshore oil leases to ExxonMobil in an area of the Gulf of Mexico potentially containing over 172 million barrels of oil.

The U.S. Department of Interior's (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) proclaimed in a May 30 press release that the ExxonMobil offshore oil lease is part of “President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production.”

European Activists Protest First Major Tar Sands Shipment from Canada, Threaten Escalating Actions

Protests erupted in Spain last week at the site of the first major delivery of tar sands crude imported from Canada via the United States.  

According to a news report by, an online news service focused on EU affairs, 600,000 barrels of Western Canada Select (WCS) crude were due to arrive at the port of Bilbao, Spain, imported by the Spanish oil company Repsol.  According to data on the tanker's location, it appears the delivery at Bilbao occurred on 29-30 May.

The Spanish oil giant is using this delivery as ‘a test’ to determine if future bulk deliveries are feasible.  

On 29 May, about 50 protesters staged a demonstration outside Repsol's Bilbao refinery, after rumours spread that the dirty fuel shipment had already arrived.  

The protesters, including local residents and environmentalists from all over Europe, have vowed to increase the scope and organization of the protests if shipments continue.

Blog Posts of Interest

Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.
What's Happenin' Is On Hiatus

War and politics, they go together like motherhood and apple pie:

Carnage and Coverup: 150th Anniversary of Cold Harbor

There is some interesting analysis in this that is worth giving a thought to, it should, however be taken with a grain of salt. No warranties are expressed or implied, read at your own risk, void where prohibited by law, batteries not included, etc. B)

Why There Is No Russian Military Intervention In The Ukraine

Fox News medical malpractice

A Little Night Music

Koerner, Ray And Glover - Linin' Track

Koerner, Ray & Glover - Down To Louisiana

Koerner, Ray & Glover - Duncan and Brady

Koerner, Ray & Glover - Ted Mack Rag

'Spider' John Koerner - Spider Blues

Koerner & Glover - Last Lonesome Blues

Dave Ray and Tony Glover - Long Haired Doney

Dave Ray and Tony Glover - Jimmy Bell

Spider John Koerner and Tony Glover - What's a Matter with the Mill

Ray and Glover -  Mean Old Lonesome Train

Spider John Koerner - Delia

Spider John Koerner -  Santy Anno

Spider John Koerner -  Creepy John

Koerner, Ray & Glover Blues Rags & Hollers

Spider John Koerner

It's National Pie Day!

The election is over, it's a new year and it's time to work on real change in new ways... and it's National Pie Day.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to tell you a little more about our new site and to start getting people signed up.  

Come on over and sign up so that we can send you announcements about the site, the launch, and information about participating in our public beta testing.

Why is National Pie Day the perfect opportunity to tell you more about us?  Well you'll see why very soon.  So what are you waiting for?!   Head on over now and be one of the first!

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH.

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